DEAR ABBY by Abigail Van Buren
TEENAGE BOYS NEED RELIABLE ADVICE ABOUT CONTRACEPTION
DEAR ABBY: In my family alone, three young women have — by their own admission — gotten pregnant on purpose to get their boyfriends to marry and support them. None of these marriages worked out. The horrible relationships were and still are hurtful and damaging, not only to the children, but also to the rest of the family. I’m aware of several other women who have admitted to entrapping their baby daddy by “forgetting to take their pills,” so I know this isn’t just happening in my family.
Contraceptive measures for boys are limited and fallible, and I am concerned. My nephews’ mother entrapped their now-absent father, so I doubt she’ll mention this to them. How and when does a relative talk to soon-to-be teen boys about entrapment? — ANONYMOUS RELATIVE
DEAR RELATIVE: The subject of contraception should be part of an ongoing, age-appropriate conversation about sex and reproduction. Boys and girls mature physically earlier than they did decades ago, and because of the Internet they are often exposed to a wide variety of information.
I do think a warning is in order because of your regrettable family situation. However, you should be aware that no law dictates that a man “has” to marry a woman (or girl) he has gotten pregnant. If a paternity test proves he is the father of the baby, he IS required to support his child until the child is no longer a minor.
DEAR ABBY: My widowed mother-in-law began dating a man a few months ago. My husband and I are happy for her because he seems to be a good person. She really seems to enjoy spending time with him.
We live in Michigan and she lives in South Carolina. She told me she has asked him to come with her the next time she visits us. I have no problem with this, but I do not want them to share a room in my home because they’re not married. I have boys who are 10 and 13, and I think it would send the wrong message.
Yes, I know I’m old-fashioned. Talk about role reversal! How do I handle this? — STICKING TO IT
DEAR STICKING TO IT: Handle it by offering to make reservations for your mother-in-law and her gentleman friend at a nearby hotel or motel. And if she asks you why, explain it to her as you explained it to me.
DEAR ABBY: I have neighbors whose house I go to in order to see pay-per-view fights. I split the cost of the fights and food with them. The problem is, if anyone else comes over, they don’t pitch in. Also, they eat the food I just paid half of. Another issue is I eat for one and they eat for five, yet we split the cost down the middle. How do I resolve this? — SHORT END OF THE DEAL IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR SHORT END: You could try duking it out, but the most effective way would be for you to discuss it with your neighbors, because I agree what’s happening doesn’t seem fair to you.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.